WASHINGTON – An Egyptian-American charity worker freed after nearly three years of detention in Egypt returned Thursday night to the United States, the White House said.
Aya Hijazi, 30, and her husband, Mohamed Hassanein, an Egyptian, arrived in the Washington area, said a White House official who was not authorized to discuss the case by name and requested anonymity.
Earlier this week a court acquitted Hijazi of charges of child abuse that were widely dismissed as bogus by human rights groups and U.S. officials. She and her husband had established a foundation to aid street children in 2013, but were arrested along with several others in 2014.
Her case was on the agenda when President Donald Trump met earlier this month with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
Details of their arrival were first reported by The Washington Post. Their release and the freedom of four other humanitarian workers were negotiated by Trump and White House aides, and Trump sent a U.S. government aircraft to Cairo to bring them home, the Post reported.
Hijazi, a dual national, was born in Egypt and grew up in Falls Church, Virginia, a Washington suburb. She received a degree in conflict resolution from George Mason University in 2009.